Foundation Forum by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, NCCF CEO

Reflecting on 30 years of generosity

Together with our statewide network of philanthropic leaders we have reached our 30-year milestone.  We are proud of our history and proud of the unique structure and statewide network. But our greatest impact is the work that our generous donors have made in their communities. Your passion for giving combined with our grantmaking expertise make us an incredible team.

As I travel throughout our beautiful state, I am struck by the incredible power of generosity. Generosity can change lives, change communities and transform the way that we each see the world. All of us have good intentions, but those who act on those intentions are changing the world.

Over the last couple of months, we have worked with generous donors who established scholarship funds that will ensure North Carolina high school students can continue their education. A scholarship fund was established solely for students affected by Hurricane Matthew. I’m proud that this scholarship takes our long-term approach to disaster relief and recovery to another level. You can learn more about the NCCF Disaster Relief & Resilience Scholarship here. Another scholarship fund in Edgecombe County was particularly meaningful. The Superintendent Lee R. and LaVelle Parker Hall Scholarship Fund was established by the much beloved and long-serving superintendent with a deep love for Edgecombe County students.

Strong nonprofit organizations understand the power of establishing an endowment that will provide long-term support and stability. The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry recently conducted a community-wide campaign to grow its endowment to $250,000. I had the opportunity to meet their Executive Director and several board members at a recent grant awards ceremony in Edenton hosted by the Chowan Community Funds Foundation, our local affiliate. This nonprofit is an inspiring example of how a community organization can build a pivotal endowment through smart partnerships and intentional community involvement. You can learn more about the Food Pantry’s story here.

Many decide to start donor advised funds with NCCF. Sometimes these funds are for a particular passion or need in the community or are motivated by an interest in continuing a family’s history of giving. Our donor advised funds provide easy and flexible vehicles to make annual gifts to nonprofit organizations. We’re honored to steward these funds in partnership with generous donors leveraging philanthropy to support nonprofits doing vital work in communities across North Carolina.

It is incredibly humbling to reflect on the 30 years of generosity North Carolinians from Murphy to Manteo have created in partnership with NCCF. It has been my honor to serve our state as NCCF’s CEO for more than a decade and to continue working with inspiring philanthropists to make North Carolina stronger. I believe in our mission -- and most of all, I believe in our people.

We’re proud of the 30 years of generosity that’s impacting our state thanks to donors like you, and we can’t wait for the next 30.

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